KCS is currently part of the Asian Coalition of the American Diabetes Association, focusing on encouraging people who have or are at risk of diabetes to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle. This year, KCS and the ADA are focusing on the importance of carbohydrate control, an especially important issue in the Korean community where white rice and grains are dietary staples.
REACH FAR (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health For Asian AmeRicans) is a program led by the Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) at NYU Langone Medical Center. KCS is part of a group of community based organizations working to implement several key strategies to fight high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in Asian American communities, working closely with
- Faith-based organizations to improve nutrition of members by serving healthier food during communal meals
- Asian American restaurants to offer healthy menu options to their customers
- Asian American Ethnic Markets to ensure the availability of healthy foods
- Departments of health to adapt the existing “Keep on Track” program to improve blood pressure control in the Korean community
The goal of this program is to lower mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular disease among Asian Americans in New York and New Jersey. One in five Korean Americans has high blood pressure, a “silent killer” that causes problems with the heart and blood vessels, leading to heart attack, aneurysm, atherosclerosis, kidney failure and other complications. KCS seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure and its complications by implementing policy, system, and environmental approaches in collaboration with community groups such as churches, ethnic markets, health care providers and pharmacists with linguistically and culturally competent, tailored programs.
KCS is working closely with H&Y Marketplace, HanNam Mart, and Hmart throughout New York and New Jersey. The nutrition goals for the REACH FAR project consist of promoting healthy eating through the following strategies: 1.Choosing more whole grains, 2. Learning how to read nutrition labels 3.Choosing low-fat or non-fat dairy options, 4. Reducing overall sodium intake by learning about healthier flavor substitutes. The REACH FAR coordinators pride themselves on improving the quality of life through thoughtful choices regarding nutrition for the Korean American Community.
Responding to community needs for chronic disease prevention and intervention, KCS offers three healthy eating projects to encourage the community to make their environment healthier and to adopt health nutrition policies. Chronic diseases included heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
Less Salt Sunday
Less Salt Sunday is a restaurant initiative project designed to prevent the high blood pressure that is prevalent in the Korean community. It promoted the reduction of sodium used by Korean ethnic restaurants by offering alternative, lower-sodium methods of preparing traditional foods at their venues and raising awareness among the public in general. By working with 19 restaurants, we reached out to more than 30,000 Korean Americans.
Brown Rice Campaign
PHRC worked with Korean American churches in Bergen Country, New Jersey to institute a policy change to develop strategic ways for them to practice healthy eating. In FY 2014, over 12,000 Korean Americans throughout 34 Korean churches and senior organizations in New Jersey were impacted by the Brown Rice Campaign.
Healthy Eating for the Glory of God
Another church-based prevention effort, this project was implemented in Queens in collaboration with the Partnership for Healthier New York to promote adoption of the New York City Healthy Food Standards specifically for meetings and events. During FY 2014, PHRC reached out to approximately 5,000 Korean Americans through 43 churches in Queens.
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